On its website Beese’s describes itself as one of Bristol’s best-kept secrets. Considering how buzzing it was on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I’d argue that’s not quite true, but it’s still not the sort of place you’re likely to stumble upon. Nestled on the riverbank on the opposite side to the Bath and Keynsham footpaths, Beese’s has to be sought out – by foot, bike, car or, more unusually, river ferry.
(The river ferry harks back to Beese’s roots. It was founded by a Mrs Beese in 1846 to provide refreshments to passengers on the Conham River Ferry, which her husband captained.)
As well as putting in the effort to find Beese’s, you also have to be patient to experience this lovely pub. Although I say you’re unlikely to stumble upon this lovely pub/bar/restaurant, that’s actually exactly how we discovered it. An impromptu Autumn walk in neighbouring Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve spat us out into the Beese’s car park. But Beese’s is only open from Easter weekend until the end of September, we’d been waiting six months before finally, finally a weekend where it was open coincided with a weekend where it was sunny and a weekend where we had decided to take a break from DIY.
We had decided to have a light lunch so plumped for the baguettes – egg mayonaise and brie and cranberry. Simple food, done very well.
If you wanted something more substantial, the Sunday roasts smelt and looked amazing and the burgers were making our mouths water a little too. We’ll definitely be back for a larger meal next time. Possibly in an evening, so we can sit outside as it goes dark, beneath the lights strung between the trees.
Alternatively if you just want a snack (Tarr’s ice cream, afternoon tea with scones) or a drink (alcoholic or non), they cater for that too.
It’s also in the perfect location for a post-food walk. Very few people seem to take advantage of Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve, which is right next door. To be fair, that suited us fine (so don’t tell too many people about it!). We sat and watched ducklings paddle round one of the ponds (or ‘lagoons’) and meandered through the woodland and by the river. The perfect end to our lunch date.
Whether you’re planning to eat out with a partner, all the family (it’s very kid-friendly) or catch up with friends, Beese’s is the perfect place to while away a Sunny afternoon or evening in Bristol. Simple, beautiful and just plain lovely.
Beese’s Bar & Tea Gardens
Wyndham Crescent, Bristol, BS4 4SX
Booking is available and probably recommended for larger parties. However there are a few T&Cs.
Public Transport: Get the No 1 bus (which starts at Cribb’s Causeway and goes to the city centre via Park St) to the Good Intent Pub, Brislington
A number of Bristol ferry companies run boat trips from the city centre.
Beese’s has a car park (where you can also leave your bike). If you’re on the other side of the river, you can park in Conham Road car park and contact Beese’s, who will ferry you across!
For more details, see Beese’s informative website